Today my partner and I ventured down to The Beach (or Beaches) – a gorgeous, popular strip of boardwalk, beachfront and shops along Lake Ontario.
The weather was perfect for people-watching, froyo, listening to music, walking the long stretch of boardwalk and petting the myriad dogs who accompanied their owners on this beautiful sunny day.
Canines of all kinds were in abundance – dachshunds, German Shepherds, dalmatian puppies, golden retrievers – you name it, we saw ’em. As much as I’d love to get a dog and one day I will – I’ve already promised my kids – we currently have a fantastic, clever cat whom everyone adores.
Not only are pets fun and playful (and I lot of work of course), studies show they’re good for both children’s and adults’ mental health.
Image from Animal Planet
While it seems counter-intuitive, the dander and bacteria from pets can actually help babies develop their immune systems.
By exposing children to various pet allergens, some allergies and diseases like asthma can be avoided.
Owning a pet also breeds empathy, compassion, love, friendship and key social skills.
What does the special furball, fish or ferrat in your life do for your family? Can you imagine life without Fido?
Earlier today, I posted a status update on Facebook about feeling like “a zombie in the sunshine” after experiencing a terrible night’s sleep. (Full disclosure: I was sleeping with my daughter who was tossing and turning though really I’m not a great sleeper at the best of times.)
As we all know, sleep can be a challenge for adults and children alike. According to the Better Sleep Council, toddlers, children and teens need a minimum of 10 hours of sleep to stay healthy, babies need 16 and adults require 8. Lack of sleep can cause disturbances in mood, behaviour, learning ability, friendships, processing, relationships and work.
My status update received about a dozen replies and lots of advice. Suggestions included everything from taking magnesium (which I do) to using essential oils (wild orange on the big toes – who knew?!) to listening to relaxing, sleep-inducing music.
I’m a big fan of essential oils. We’ve used them in the diffuser; mixed with coconut oil for stomach aches, headaches and cramps; and I even ingested a tiny dollop of oregano oil when I had a cold. (It worked but it was one of the worst tastes I’ve ever experienced.)
For years, I (and sometimes my children) have used a white noise machine to block out extraneous noises and mimic sounds from the womb. It works like a charm, especially for those who are light sleepers.
Still, no matter what tips and tricks make for decent slumber, I’d love to have consistently good restful sleep. It makes life so much easier.
What’s your experience with sleep? Are you and your kids naturally good sleepers? If not, what’s your best tip? Please share. I’d be ever so grateful.
Posted in Books, Facts, Home, Parenting
Tagged alternative health, alternative medicine, child's voice, essential oils, exhaustion, lavender, sleep, sleeping, solutions, white noise